ePaper

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Turkey and Israel expel envoys over Gaza violence

  • Print
Turkey and Israel expelled each other`s senior diplomats on Tuesday in a dispute over the killing by Israeli forces of 60 Palestinians a day earlier during protests on the Gaza border. 

Turkey told Israel`s ambassador to leave the country on Tuesday after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel`s response to the Gaza protests and of the US Embassy move, recalling its ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington and calling for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations on Friday.


President Tayyip Erdogan described Monday`s bloodshed, the deadliest for Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza conflict, as genocide and called Israel a terrorist state. The government declared three days of mourning.

"The Israeli ambassador was told that our envoy to Israel was called back for consultations, and was informed that it would be appropriate for him to go back to his country for some time," a Turkish Foreign Ministry source said.

Hours later Israel`s Foreign Ministry said the Turkish Consul-General in Jerusalem had been summoned and told to return to Turkey "for consultations for a period of time."

The dispute appears to mark the worst diplomatic crisis between the two regional powers since Israeli marines stormed an aid ship to enforce a naval blockade of Gaza in 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists and prompting a downgrade in diplomatic ties that lasted until 2016. 

Israel`s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter Erdogan was in no position to "preach morality to us" because he supported the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza. "There is no doubt he well understands terrorism and slaughter," Netanyahu tweeted.

Erdogan tweeted back that Netanyahu was the leader of "an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people`s lands for 60+ years in violation of U.N. resolutions", adding that he was criticising Turkey to deflect attention. 

"Want a lesson in humanity? Read the 10 commandments".

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also said that Muslim countries should review their ties with Israel after Monday`s violence.

There have been demonstrations against Israel in Istanbul and in the capital Ankara. Erdogan, who is campaigning for presidential and parliamentary elections next month, said a rally will be held on Friday to protest the killings.

Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag told parliament the rally "will once again show that the Turkish people will not remain silent in the face of injustice and cruelty, that they defend the victims in the face of the cruel".

The plight of Palestinians resonates with many Turks, including with the nationalist and religious voters who form the base of Erdogan`s support.

Bozdag said that Turkey held the United States equally accountable for Monday`s violence.

"The blood of innocent Palestinians is on the hands of the United States," he said. "The United States is part of the problem, not the solution".

Relations between Ankara and Washington, two NATO allies, have been deeply strained over the embassy move, disagreements over military deployment in north Syria, and court cases against Turkish and U.S. nationals in each country.

More News For this Category

Intel chief asked me to quit: Sharif

| By Age Online Desk
Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday accused a former intelligence chief of asking him to resign during opposition protests in 2014, comments likely
Intel chief asked me to quit: Sharif

Indian police face fury over shooting of 10 protesters

| By
Outrage swelled on Wednesday over the deaths of 10 protesters at a rally over a copper plant in southern India, after police opened fire on demonstrators in what

Malaysian state-linked media left scrambling

| By
 After decades of slavishly backing the only government Malaysia had ever known, state-linked media are scrambling to find their feet after the election landslide, seeking to shed a
Malaysian state-linked media left scrambling

Hundreds mourn Texas victim in Karachi

| By
The funeral of a Pakistani student killed in last week's Texas school shooting has taken place in Karachi.Sabika Sheikh, who was 17, was among the eight students and two

'US-N Korea summit can proceed smoothly'

| By
China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that China has played a positive role on the Korean peninsula and hopes the planned US-North Korea summit can proceed smoothly. Ministry

IS militants resort to suicide bombings

| By Asian Age Online
Islamic State (IS) militants resorted to suicide bombings at the last stage of Syrian Army's final battles to liberate IS strongholds in south of
IS militants resort to suicide bombings

Tensions soar between India, Pakistan along Kashmir frontier

| By Asian Age Online
Indian officials say at least four civilians have been killed in firing by Pakistani troops along the volatile frontier in Indian-controlled Kashmir, in escalating
Tensions soar between India, Pakistan along Kashmir frontier

Indian police kill 12 in protest over copper plant

| By Asian Age Online
Indian police on Tuesday killed 12 demonstrators after opening fire on thousands of people demanding the closure of a copper factory due to pollution concerns,
Indian police kill 12 in protest over copper plant

Anti-BJP alliance cannot work without Congress: Deve Gowda

| By International Desk
Janata Dal(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda, 86, is keen on turning the swearing-in of his son HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday, as the head of the newly forged Congress-JD(S)
Anti-BJP alliance cannot work without Congress: Deve Gowda

9 dead as police fire during anti-sterlite protest in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin

| By International Desk
Nine people were killed as police opened fire on protesters who went on a rampage today demanding closure of a copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu's port city of
9 dead as police fire during anti-sterlite protest in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin

© 2018 The Asian Age